I swear I am not rigging this, I’m using the calculator on my computer to generate random numbers. Oh sure, there are times when I have specific choices, I want to do a review of something on a particular day for a specific reason. But here we are, seven days into the month of October and we have randomly been given three songs from the album October (okay, two randomly, since I picked the song October to do on the first of the month). Now if you were to look at any particular album, and ignoring the ones chosen for a specific date, you’d say roughly twelve songs per albums means you should get roughly one song from an album per month. So three in a week is a little crazy. I think I only have a couple of songs left from the album to do this year, what are the odds we’ll see one of them in the next few days? I’m not going to rig it, I promise.
Fire starts with a little weird whine, wail, whatever you want to call it. Then it jumps into the song. You get that continuous “falling falling” throughout, which I think is Edge singing, and I must admit I don’t like that too much. I guess it replaces some kind of instrument making noise at that point, so maybe it does work in some ways. I don’t know.
The conventional wisdom in this song is the idea of Revelations, because the band was going through a deeply religious period, and pretty much any time you think about fire in religious terms you’re talking about the devil and about Revelations. Stars falling down, moon running red, sun burning black, yep, pretty much hitting all the major points of the standard end of the world story. So we’ll go with the standard idea and say that it’s about that, right? I can’t say so for sure, but I can say that I can’t come up with much else to explain the words.
The music is what you would expect from this period, not very good, not very interesting, you keep waiting for something fun to happen and it doesn’t. The album is the worst U2 album, and this song is one of the worst on it. There’s just nothing going on. Very standard sound, simple playing, mildly atmospheric, but often I think it is just saying hey, here’s a song that we tried with a little. It doesn’t seem like a song they would release today, because they’ve gotten that reputation where they work and work on something until they get it perfect (or at least, until they have to let go, because I don’t think they will ever consider a song to be perfect or even complete).
So one of the worst songs on the worst album, is it worst U2 song of all time? No, I don’t think I would say that. I think I’ve thought that about a few songs here and there, but this one not necessarily. I don’t even know if it will be on my top ten worst U2 songs at the end of the year. Maybe top twenty.
My rating for Fire: 2 / 10